How 15 Minutes a Day Can Help You Live Longer
Reviewed & Approved by Dr. Larry
On the days when I am tired and don’t feel like working out, I think of this. When do I not have even 15 minutes? Seriously. And it’s getting me two extra years of life to have with my family, potential grandkids, doing the things I love. Fifteen minutes matters.
Getting regular exercise can be difficult, and spending hours at the gym every day just doesn’t work with most of our schedules. But what if you could make a difference in just 15 minutes a day?
A 2012 study of more than 600,000 patients suggests exactly that. The study examined the relationships between weight, leisure time activity and lifespan, and found that regardless of BMI, people who did “brisk walking” 75 minutes a week lived longer — up to 2.4 years.
This means that by walking just 15 minutes a day, five days a week, you could add two years to your life.
You Don’t Have to Lose Weight to Gain Life
Weight loss can be difficult, and patients who are exercising but not seeing the results they want might think about giving up. But there is more to working out than losing weight.
According to the study, even overweight and obese patients that did not lose weight were able to add three years to their lives, just by being active. This proves that even if you are not seeing changes in your weight, exercise is still worth it — it still gives you more years of life.
Similarly, you don’t have to be overweight to benefit from physical activity. In fact, active individuals in the “normal weight” category were found to outlive inactive people within the same weight category by nearly five years.
It is dangerous to assume that just because someone doesn’t want or need to lose weight, they don’t need to exercise. The reality is that physical appearance is not necessarily always an indicator of true health; everyone, regardless of size, can benefit from regular physical activity.
More Exercise, More Benefits
If 75 minutes a week can add two years to your life, imagine what 150 or 200 minutes a week could do for you. The more you exercise, the more you will benefit.
Start with the goal of walking fifteen minutes a day. When you are ready, try working your way up to a 30-minute or hour-long walk when you can. Try adding some variety to your exercise; lifting weights has also been linked to living a longer, better life. Adding any type of physical activity to your routine can help improve your overall health and fitness, which is an important factor determining longevity.
When it comes to exercise, something is always better than nothing, and 15 minutes a day adds up. Even on our busiest days, surely most of us can find 15 minutes — especially knowing that it can give us extra years of life.